INITIAL OBSERVATIONS AND ANALYSIS
- THE DOUBLE! THEY DID IT! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? In the winter, it seemed like an impossibility, but Kovac has steered this team to a domestic double, the first since Guardiola strolled the sidelines. Every single member of this team contributed this season to get Bayern to this spot, and it was beautiful to watch. Bravo to the men in red. They had to work as hard as ever to get to this point, and they did it.
- Fare the well to Rafinha, Ribery, and Robben. The three will depart Bayern after this one, covered in glory. Trophies galore. We will miss you.
- More like Robert LewanTORski, am I right?
- Celebrate, fans. Celebrate! More analysis is on the way.
FULL TIME: RB LEIPZIG 0-3 BAYERN MUNICH
86- Ribery comes on for Coman in his farewell appearance.
85- TOR! FC BAYERN! ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI!!! RB LEIPZIG 0-3 BAYERN MUNICH
Lewandowski breaks free and powers past Upamecano. He finesses a shot past Gulacsi to make it THREE!
85- Ribery is up. He’s coming in.
83- The Bayern fans are chanting for Ribery. Surely, Kovac is bringing him on soon.
82- Leipzig brings on Haidara for Konate.
79- TOR! FC BAYERN! KINGSLEY COMAN! RB LEIPZIG 0-2 BAYERN MUNICH!
What a goal by the Frenchman! He brings the ball down with a fake shot in the penalty area with a perfect touch. He rips a shot past Gulacsi for the 2-0 lead. What. A. Goal!
Coman firma el segundo para el FC Bayern München que está cerca de obtener otro título— ESPN Deportes (@ESPNDeportes) May 25, 2019
¿Lo logrará? pic.twitter.com/HQGJAAso2I
75- Bayern are pushing for the goal to cement this win. Nothing to show for it yet.
73- Arjen Robben comes on for his final appearance in a Bayern jersey, replacing Gnabry. Bayern still lead 1-0.
70- Leipzig brings on Upamecano for Orban.
64- Leipzig brings on Laimer for Adams. Bayern brings on Tolisso for Martinez.
63- Thiago comes close with a header! Gulacsi punches a Gnabry cross right at Thiago who is only a few feet away. He’s not able to prep himself for the header, and it goes wide.
62- What a hit by Hummels! The big man intercepts the ball int the Leipzig half and dribbles toward the Leipzig box. With no defenders going toward him, Hummels rips a shot that Gulacsi has to make a diving save to keep out.
61- Sabitzer hits a low, hard cross, but the ball is easily cleared by Sule. Nothing comes of the corner.
57- Werner almost hits the equalizer, but Sule clears the ball after Neuer is beaten.
56- Bayern has a break, but Lewandowski sends his shot directly into the hands of Gulacsi.
55- Gnabry forces Gulacsi to make a save. Alaba’s cross just misses Lewandowski, but Gnabry forces his way through a defender and forces Gulacsi to make a fall down save.
49- Leipzig come right back down and Werner tries to sneak a shot near post, but Neuer keeps it out. The big goalkeeper is having a great game.
48- WHAT A SAVE BY NEUER! Forsberg breaks free with no Bayern defenders around. He has a clear 40 yard sprint to the Bayern goal, and Neuer comes up with a MASSIVE save to keep Forsberg from scoring. What a save. WOW!
47- The second half started with some fireworks from the Leipzig supporters and from Bayern on the field. Nothing came of it, but Bayern very nearly came close to a second goal on two or three occasions in a 15 second spell.
46- The second half has kicked off.
Halftime analysis and observations
- We have to talk about that Neuer save on Poulsen’s header early in the match. When I wrote about the decline of Neuer earlier this season, it was a direct reference to his seemingly newfound inability to make THAT exact save. That save, purely instinctual, is the difference in Bayern falling behind early or holding out to take the lead a little bit later.
- Lewandowski’s header was so incredible difficult that he must be praised. That man was in the Leipzig box, had to jump back toward the Bayern penalty area, and still managed to get enough power on the header to beat Gulacsi for the goal. There are very few players in the world that can make the play that Lewandowski did. It was simply brilliant.
- Leipzig spent the remainder of the first half sitting further back than they were at the start, failing to apply the same pressure that they did on Bayern early on. This allowed Bayern to grab control of the game and generate a lot more chances. Leipzig are lucky they ended the half only down one goal.
Halftime: RB Leipzig 0-1 Bayern Munich
45- Bayern are peppering Gulacsi’s goal now. There have been several goal line clearances by Leipzig’s defenders in the last few seconds to keep the score 1-0 in favor of Bayern.
42- Coman nearly comes through with a great goal, but Konate makes an incredible header clearance on the goal line to keep the ball out.
35- Since the Bayern goal, Leipzig haven’t adjusted well. They’ve sunk back just a little bit deeper, allowing Bayern to have possession with less pressure on them the instant they receive the ball.
29- TOR! FC BAYERN! ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI!!! RB LEIPZIG 0-1 BAYERN MUNICH
Coman played Alaba on the overlap, and he put in a lofted cross seconds before heading out of bounds. Lewandowski had to jump backwards to the Bayern goal to get a head on it, and he just beats Gulacsi inside the near post. What a header!
via @VideoGoalsHD pic.twitter.com/lpq9VUBogr— via @VideoGoalsHD (@viaVide63797793) May 25, 2019
24- So far, Leipzig look like the only side capable of creating good chances. Werner looks sure to break out for a 1-v-1 with Neuer, but Kimmich runs him down and slide tackles the ball away.
17- Kimmich makes a crucial strip of Poulsen when the big Dane was teeing up a shot. Leipzig has had the better of the chances so far.
15- Not a lot happening to be honest. Both teams are just kicking the ball around a 20 yard span in midfield.
11- MANUEL NEUER! WHOA! RB Leipzig gets a corner and Poulsen smashes it with his head. Neuer gets a wrist to it and knocks it off the crossbar. What. A. Save. WOW!
Seriously though: What. A. Save.#RBLFCB #DFBPokalFinale pic.twitter.com/Fpd94JwovY— DW Sports (@dw_sports) May 25, 2019
8- I’m with INNN here: whoever allowed these teams to wear these uniform combinations needs to be slapped. It’s pretty annoying.
6- Random observations. It’s hard for me to see Lucas Hernandez displacing Niklas Sule in the starting eleven once he’s healthy next season. Mats Hummels has his work cut out for him to keep his spot.
3- Some early action as Gnabry cuts in on his left foot inside the box, but his shot goes just wide of the near post.
1- The ball is rolling in Berlin!
One hour 15 minutes before kickoff: Lineups are out! Exactly as we expected from Niko Kovac:
Unser Team fürs Double! #RBLFCB #packmas pic.twitter.com/XFbcKeUJ8J— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) May 25, 2019
Well, we’re finally here. One year after losing the DFB Pokal final to Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich are back and have to face RB Leipzig the domestic double. Last year, it was Niko Kovac who ruined Bayern’s party — he needs to make up for it with a win.
As far as the lineup is concerned, there’s not too much ambiguity as to who will start. Leon Goretzka may be injured, but all the usual suspects — Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, etc. are fit and ready to go. If Kovac needs extra firepower off the bench, he has Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, and James Rodriguez on standby.
However, this still promises to be a difficult game. Why? Well, aside from the fact that Leipzig are one of the best teams in Germany (and arguably a tougher nut to crack than Borussia Dortmund), Bayern have been incredibly awful in every single DFB Pokal game they’ve played this season. Whether it be a team from the 4th division or a proper Bundesliga contender, the team has always made Pokal games into nerve-wracking affairs.
Hopefully, this game will turn out better, but it doesn’t matter how stressful the win is so long as it comes eventually. We want this trophy.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany
Time: 8 pm local time, 2 pm EST
TV/streaming: Official YouTube Stream (Free), Fubo.tv, Find Your Country
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